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The first of three people named Darius mentioned in the Bible is Darius the Mede, who took control of Babylon when the city fell to the Medo-Persian armies in 539 BC (Daniel 5:30-31). The name may be that of a Median leader whom the Persian Emperor Cyrus placed in charge of Babylon, or it may be another name for Cyrus himself (see also DANIEL; PERSIA).

Cyrus was succeeded in 530 BC by Cambyses, and Cambyses by Darius Hystaspes in 522 BC. During the reign of Darius Hystaspes the prophets Haggai and Zechariah aroused the Jews from their spiritual laziness, with the result that the temple in Jerusalem was rebuilt (Ezra 4:24; Ezra 5:6; Ezra 6:15; Haggai 1:1; Zechariah 1:1; see EZRA; PERSIA). A later Darius, called Darius the Persian (Nehemiah 12:22), ruled Persia from 423 to 408 BC.

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Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Darius'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. 2004.

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